By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
Most contractor-developed products are a result of that contractor’s search for a better way to tackle an issue on the roof. That was exactly the case for W.R. “Bill” Merrin as well.
We shared his story a few years ago on the Coffee Shop about how he started Wil-Mar Products after inventing and patenting THE PIPE COLLAR in 1990. We wanted to know more about how he was able to introduce a completely new concept into the industry that often is resistant to new ways of doing things. Unfortunately, Bill passed away just five years after starting the company, but we are sure he would be proud of the success that his wife, Marianne, has had in growing the company to where it is today.
Western Roofing Supply in San Jose, California was the first distributor to carry the newly invented pipe collar. I spoke to owner/manager Al Muccia and he fondly remembered Bill. “Bill was a substantial roofer in the area years ago and he and my former boss, John Miller, were long-time acquaintances,” explained Al. “Bill came to John and said, ‘I have an idea.’ John being the ultimate salesperson said, ‘I’m sure I could sell that!’”
In the early 1990s the concept of a pipe collar was pretty new. For years, pipes were sealed using mastic and tape. But after learning about the product from John and then installing it, contractors were very pleased. The ease of installation, the flexible EPDM material they were made from and the performance – they didn’t crack or fail like mastic and tape was prone to do had them returning for more.
THE PIPE COLLAR is made out of a special EPDM rubber which provides a waterproof counterflashing that slides down over the vent pipe and stays firmly attached. Because it attaches to the pipe and not to the roof flashing the need for tape or mastic is eliminated. It’s warranted to last as long as any of the roofing systems being offered today and is compatible for pitched and flat roof systems. THE PIPE COLLAR is available in six sizes: ¾-inch, 1-inch, 1-1/2-inches, 2-inches, 3-inches and 4-inches.
Request your free sample today!